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How To Guide- PSA's

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How To Guide- PSA's

  1. 1. How-To Guide Public Service AnnouncementsAdapted from “How to Write a Public Service Announcement That Is Worth Airing, Worth Hearing and Worth Writing!”, Kansas Association of Broadcasters
  2. 2. What is a Public Service Announcement? A Public Service Announcement (PSA) is a free “commercial” for a non-profit organization It is aired voluntarily by TV/Radio Stations To learn how to create an effective PSA, you need to understand how to create an effective commercial
  3. 3. Step One Start with a GOAL: What do you want to accomplish? Your goal should focus on a specific action. The PSA should not simply discuss the organization that created the PSA, it should motivate the target audience to take action Examples: To stop smoking, to avoid using drugs, to stop drinking and driving, etc.
  4. 4. Step Two Establish a TARGET AUDIENCE Select an age group that your group would like to target with the PSA Your PSA should contain information/content that is relatable AND appropriate for this age group
  5. 5. Use Real Language Have you ever noticed how some commercials speak in a language that you only seem to hear in commercials? “Our quality merchandise and competitive prices…” Don‟t speak that language in your PSA! So, what language can you use? Your everyday language is most effective “To find out how you can help feed a hungry family…”
  6. 6. Use Emotion People act based on their emotional responses (this includes your target audience!) Can you think of a movie that you really wanted to see? If so, you desire was likely emotional. You didn‟t analyze all of your options or draw up a list of pros and cons and base your decision on logic of any kind Emotions sell, Facts don‟t Don‟t overwhelm viewers with too many facts. The use of a couple is effective- but, don‟t over do it! Example: “Tonight, many of Smallville‟s children will go to bed hungry. Unless you help”
  7. 7. Make it Personally Relatable A PSA is a conversation with the audience Make sure that your message is personal to them Make it easy for them to relate to Example: “Have you ever been hungry? Not because you were on a diet or you didn‟t have time to eat breakfast, but because you didn‟t have enough money to buy food? Unfortunately that not an imaginary situation for children in Smallville. There‟s a child in our community who will go to bed hungry tonight… unless you help”
  8. 8. Deliver ONE Core Message The core message is the ONE thing you want the audience to hear, to understand and to remember Many PSA‟s make the mistake of trying to get the audience to take more than one action A PSA can ask people to donate food, money or time, but should not ask for all three in the same shot Stick with one message and deliver it with clarity
  9. 9. Clarity You know that your PSA is about, because you‟re the one that created it, but that audience doesn‟t have that advantage The audience needs to be able to understand the message the first time they hear/see it Its your job to communicate. It is not the audience‟s job to figure out what you are trying to say
  10. 10. Music All commercials and PSA‟s should have music playing in the background right? Wrong. Use music only when it enhances the impact of the message Putting music under a boring message doesn‟t make it any more interesting
  11. 11. Sound Effects Sound effects can be fun, but will surely stimulate a picture in your audience‟s mind Example: A PSA that encourages people not to overspend on their credit card accounts. To illustrate the point of „not spending extra money‟, the sound effect of a cash register ringing is used. The audience thus pictures a cash register- but does this image do anything to encourage people to use their cards more responsible? No Use sound effects only if they increase the impact of the message you are trying to communicate
  12. 12. A Good PSA… Attracts the attention of your target audience Speaks to the audience in their own language Relates to the audience‟s lives Delivers a single core message Delivers the message with clarity Motivates the audience to act

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